The machines are just about to take over the planet now that computer scientist Tom Murphy has presented a paper on the possibility of video games being beaten by robots. It’s not quite that simple, but in essence, it’s time for Progress Quest to take hold. Presented at SigBovik 2013, what you’re about to see is a set of programs: LearnFun and PlayFun – the first watches you play the video game, the second takes the information and beats the video game much more efficiently than you can.
What you’re seeing here is none other than Murphy himself taking a whopping 16+ minutes to not only explain the entire concept of both LearnFun and PlayFun, but a cool Mario Bros demonstration as well. Just the first level of Super Mario Bros, one of the most played video games of all time due to its in-box inclusion with the original Nintendo Entertainment System, is included for demonstration. You’ll see Murphy beat the first level, the machine learn from him, and the machine play.
This video shows how not just Mario Bros, but a wide variety of video games could technically be learned and beaten with the computer and by the computer. As the original NES system is just a miniature computer – ancient by today’s standards – it’s really only a matter of reading the button presses and pressing them at the right time. It’s not only limited to those one-possibility games either, this system could be expanded even to the randomly-generated worlds of today.
Now we’ve just got to amp up the power a bit and let this beast loose in the online worlds of WoW and whatnot. I know good and well I’ve sniped my own fair share of robots in Team Fortress 2 already. Bring on the Nintendo bots! PlayFun, you’re mine!